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Content tagged with "snake"

Miscellany

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"Miscellany" for the August 2009 Missouri Conservationist.

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Image of a Mississippi green watersnake

Mississippi Green Watersnake (Mississippi Green Water Snake)

Nerodia cyclopion
The Mississippi green watersnake is a medium-sized, heavy-bodied, dark-colored semiaquatic snake that was once somewhat common in southeastern Missouri. The back is dark greenish brown, and the belly is dark gray with numerous yellow half-circles.

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Missouri Copperheads

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They are vital to the natural scene, they rarely bite, they never kill.

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Image of a red milksnake

Missouri's Constrictors

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These snakes put the big squeeze on their prey.

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Northern water snake

Norther water snake

Photo of a northern water snake.

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Northern Diamond-Backed Watersnake (Diamond-Backed Water Snake)

Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer
The northern diamond-backed watersnake is our largest watersnake. It has diamond-shaped light markings along the back. Absent from the Ozarks but common in the southeastern corner and over northern and western Missouri, it doesn’t occur in our extreme northern counties.

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Photo of a northern red-bellied snake viewed from above.

Northern Red-Bellied Snake

The northern red-bellied snake is of our smallest snakes. It is generally gray brown or reddish brown on top, bright red or orange below. This harmless species is sometimes mistaken for a young copperhead and needlessly killed.

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Photo of a northern red-bellied snake on a rock.

Northern Red-Bellied Snake

Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata
The northern red-bellied snake is of our smallest snakes. It is generally gray brown or reddish brown on top, bright red or orange below. This harmless species is sometimes mistaken for a young copperhead and needlessly killed.

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Photo of a northern red-bellied snake basking on a rock.

Northern Red-Bellied Snake

The northern red-bellied snake lives in moist forests where there is ample shelter. It hides beneath rocks, boards, scattered tree bark, logs, and other objects. Sometimes it basks in the sun. It is not known to bite and is completely inoffensive and gentle to handle. Freshly captured, it will secrete a musky odor from glands at the base of the tail. Sometimes it plays dead.

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Photo of a northern red-bellied snake on a rock.

Northern Red-Bellied Snake

A northern red-bellied snake normally has 4 narrow, dark stripes, a faint light tan stripe down the middle of the back, or some combination of this striping. The head is usually darker than the body, and the nape of the neck has 3 light spots, which occasionally fuse to form a tan collar behind the head.

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